Undernutrition, Vitamin A and Iron Deficiency Are Associated with Impaired Intestinal Mucosal Permeability in Young Bangladeshi Children Assessed by Lactulose/Mannitol Test

Citation: Hossain MI, Haque R, Mondal D, Mahfuz M, Ahmed AS, Islam MM, et al. (2016) Undernutrition, Vitamin A and Iron Deficiency Are Associated with Impaired Intestinal Mucosal Permeability in Young Bangladeshi Children Assessed by Lactulose/Mannitol Test. PLoS ONE 11(12): e0164447. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0164447
Published: December 1, 2016

Abstract
Background: Lactulose/mannitol (L:M) test has been used as a non-invasive marker of intestinal mucosal -integrity and -permeability (enteropathy). We investigated the association of enteropathy with anthropometrics, micronutrient- status, and morbidity in children.
Methods: The urine and blood samples were collected from 925 children aged 6–24 months residing in Mirpur slum of Dhaka, Bangladesh during November 2009 to April 2013. L:M test and micronutrient status were assessed in the laboratory of International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) following standard procedure.
Results: Mean±SD age of the children was 13.2±5.2 months and 47.8% were female. Urinary- lactulose recovery was 0.264±0.236, mannitol recovery was 3.423±3.952, and L:M was 0.109±0.158. An overall negative correlation (Spearman’s-rho) of L:M was found with age (rs = -0.087; p = 0.004), weight-for-age (rs = -0.077; p = 0.010), weight-for-length (rs = -0.060; p = 0.034), mid-upper-arm-circumference (rs = -0.098; p = 0.001) and plasma-retinol (rs = -0.105; p = 0.002); and a positive correlation with plasma α-1-acid glycoprotein (rs = 0.066; p = 0.027). However, most of the correlations were not very strong. Approximately 44% of children had enteropathy as reflected by L:M of ≥0.09. Logistic regression analysis revealed that younger age (infancy) (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.35; p = 0.027), diarrhea (AOR = 4.00; p = 0.039) or fever (AOR = 2.18; p = 0.003) within previous three days of L:M test were the risk factors of enteropathy (L:M of ≥0.09).
Conclusions: Enteropathy (high L:M) is associated with younger age, undernutrition, low vitamin A and iron status, and infection particularly diarrhea and fever.

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